A sales tax is a consumption tax charged at the point of purchase for certain goods and services. The tax amount is usually calculated by applying a percentage rate to the taxable price of a sale. A portion of the sale may be exempt from the calculation of tax, because sales tax laws usually contain a list of exemptions. Laws governing the tax may require it to be included in the price (tax-inclusive) or added to the price at the point of sale.
Most sales taxes are collected from the buyer by the seller, who remits the tax to a government agency. Sales taxes are commonly charged on sales of goods, but many sales taxes are also charged on sales of services. Ideally, a sales tax would have a high compliance rate, be difficult to avoid, and be simple to calculate and collect.